Leadership for Inclusion (LINC) Programme

Leadership for Inclusion (LINC) Programme

Wins Best Online Learning Experience Award at the 2017 Education Awards


Up to 1,000 early years practitioners offered free place on the LINC Programme 2017/18 from today


Friday 2nd June, 2017

The Leadership for Inclusion (LINC) higher education programme for early years practitioners won the award for ‘Best Online Learning Experience’ at the 2017 Education Awards ceremony. The Education Awards recognise, encourage and celebrate excellence in the third level education sector on the island of Ireland.

LINC, which was established in 2016 as part of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs Access and Inclusion Model (AIM), is a Level 6 Special Purpose Award designed to support the inclusion of children with a disability in free pre-school provided under the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme. The LINC programme is being funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and is delivered by a consortium, led by Mary Immaculate College, Limerick together with Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education, Maynooth University and Early Childhood Ireland.

Minister Katherine Zappone welcomed the news, noting that ‘this is a significant achievement given that the LINC programme is new, having only been established in 2016. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all those who have worked so hard in getting the programme up and running and also the first intake of students who have engaged so enthusiastically with it. The LINC programme is a key initiative under the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) designed to empower pre-school providers to deliver an inclusive pre-school experience and to ensure that every eligible child can reap the benefits of quality early years care and education’.

The LINC programme contains online and classroom based sessions in order to ensure a flexible and quality learning experience, enabling early years practitioners in full-time employment to attend this important continuing professional development (CPD) programme.

Last September, the first intake of 900 early years practitioners were funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to undertake the LINC programme. From September 2017, graduates from the first intake will perform a new leadership role of Inclusion Coordinator within their pre-school setting. This will attract an increase of €2 per child per week in the rate of ECCE capitation payable to that setting.

The application process for the 2017/2018 programme closed in early May and all eligible applicants will be offered a place on this Programme today.  In all, 978 places will be offered to early years practitioners around the country.

Further information about the LINC programme can be found on www.lincprogramme.ie